Bidding on a construction job requires you to be accurate and precise, even if you are using a blueprint takeoff service. One mistake, and you may end up working with unprofessional people.
The typical construction bidding process includes contractors and project stakeholders who provide an estimate to the client. Afterward, they use construction management tools like Bridgit to manage their workforce to ensure the project remains within budget.
Regardless, many companies miscalculate the expenses while bidding and suffer a huge loss. According to research, contractors had a 49% chance of failure in unbalanced bidding. So, you must be careful while bidding for a construction project. Otherwise, the bidding failure might lead your company to bankruptcy.
Not sure how to get started? This post will help you bid on a construction job in 6 easy steps.
Parts of a construction bid
The construction bidding process works in a cycle. You should know the critical components of this process before learning how to bid on a construction job. Here are the important parts of a construction bid:
The client requests bids on a construction project, contacts interested contractors, and shares relevant documents with them. This is called solicitation.
Once you get the required documents, you must visit the construction site before accepting any terms and conditions. That will verify the project’s scope and give you a better understanding of the client’s requirements.
The contractor reviews each document and shares information with the subcontractors. Both parties estimate a budget by analyzing the following:
- Project’s scope – All key construction activities and the workers’ responsibilities
- Schedule – Project’s timeline, i.e., from planning to the closure phase
- Resources – Labor, machinery, and other construction equipment
After that, the contractor submits a bid before the deadline.
The client or the project owner selects only the best contractor from the qualified bids.
The client and contractor prepare a formal contract and submit all the project details.
The contractor sets out with their team and assembles resources to begin the project.
6 steps to bid on a construction job
While bidding on a construction project, you must follow the above cycle, as it will help you prepare a compelling bid. Here are 6 steps to bid on a construction job:
In the pre-bidding phase, you must critically analyze all the client’s documents. Sometimes, the document does not disclose some requirements, like material quality and design standards. Therefore, include a construction manager and a civil engineer to assess the pre-bidding process thoroughly.
You can write down unclear statements and prepare a questionnaire to better understand the project. If you don’t check each project in detail, you may not be able to complete it within the assigned budget and time.
Once you validate the documents, visit the construction site to analyze the situation.
After gathering the required information from the client, start documenting the construction resources, including:
- Equipment – The machinery, tools, and materials you need for the construction
- Workforce – Subcontractors like masons, electricians, and plumbers
- Technology – Construction software to manage and optimize the project
That document includes the costs of all the mentioned resources. But, of course, that’s just an estimate you can optimize using construction management software.
The cost estimation is important for bidding as it decides whether your construction bid is lucrative for you and the client. You must balance the expenses and the profit margin because many construction clients know the project estimated costs.
If you run for the money, your company’s reputation might come at stake. Therefore, estimate the construction cost in a way that benefits both parties.
Use your experience
Get help from your previous work as a contractor and observe the market situation. Note the difference to prepare a better resource document. You will also find new equipment and technology in the market.
If you don’t know the viability of modern resources, consult a construction manager. Unfortunately, not every modern construction resource is beneficial for your business.
It’s better if you rely on your experience and carry out the bidding process like you have been doing before. Your subcontractors must also be familiar with the old construction methodology.
However, some instances might force you to adapt to new resources. For example, you might want to upgrade your design team with the latest construction software to create a 3D building architecture per the client’s requirements.
Now, roughly schedule the construction activities and create an efficient budget. The schedule should be based on your experience. You can also refer to your construction portfolio and analyze the project’s timeline.
However, you must remember that every project has its own team of subcontractors. That means the schedule is based on resources, the team’s competency, and experience.
The schedule will no longer remain the same when you hire different subcontractors. So, note down the subcontractors and perimeter security fence suppliers with past projects to make a rough construction schedule for the client.
Once you document the construction resources and create an estimate, finalize the budget. That includes all types of costs, including:
- Resources – Purchasing or equipment leasing
- Salaries/Wages – Accounts payable to your employees
- Taxes – Municipal tariffs and customs charges for importing equipment
You can search your competitors to find neutral financial grounds. This way, you can easily make a win-win construction budget.
Remember the risks associated with the construction project and then determine the budget. The construction risks affect the estimated budget and delay the project delivery, costing you a lot of money.
Therefore, verify all possibilities regarding how risks can affect the project. You can also draft risk mitigation to better estimate the construction budget. That will help you make a contingency plan if any unusual circumstances occur during construction.
Offer your bid
By now, you may have documented the resources, scheduled the project, and estimated the budget. It’s time to present your construction bid.
Before offering the bid, professionally document each requirement and verify the schedule and budget. Also, keep a margin on the costs and time and double-check the client’s documents. Finally, place your bid for the construction job.
You should never keep the construction bids unreasonably high because the clients never accept such an offer. Similarly, you should never bid too low as that will make your company lose money.
So, research your competitors and follow the recent trends in the industry to prepare a compelling bid. Discovering the secret to effective bidding can unlock long-term success for your company.